If you thought you saw a deer in Lincoln Park this weekend, it wasn't an illusion brought upon by over indulgence before last call. There's actually a buck that has made itself comfortable in the 43rd Ward.
Libby Prakel, chief of staff for Ald. Michele Smith, said the office has gotten phone calls from residents around the 1900 block of North Halsted, where a sizable buck complete with antlers has been hanging out in a vacant lot. A user on the site everyblock.com also posted a photo of the animal, and others chimed in to note their sightings of the deer.
"It might be weird to see them in that neck of the woods, but there are some city deer," said Illinois Conservation Police Commander Neal Serdar. He said as long as the deer isn't injured and doesn't pose a threat to the community, no relocation or capture will be attempted.
"He is apparently smart enough to know what cars are," he said. "One day he'll get tired and he'll go back the way he came."
Serdar said the department first got word of Lincoln Park's buck – which some online suggested could be the area's new mascot – early last week. He said a resident tried to shut the deer inside a backyard on Montana Street for fear it would be hit by a car. He was let out later and apparently made his way to Halsted Street.
This isn't the first time Serdar said a community has spotted an out of place animal. He recalled a Turkey in Lake Bluff a few years ago that neighbors nicknamed "Sparkle," and another instance of a deer that took up residence in an abandoned Chicago building.
For now, he said, it's best members of the community leave the buck alone. If he sticks around until November, however, they should really stay away. That's rutting – or breeding – season for deer, when they can get particularly aggressive.
"They get a little goofy," he said. "They can plain get mean."
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